Photographing a stranger is something that is intimidating to a lot of photographers, and it’s completely understandable why. We are injecting ourselves into another persons life, and they might or might not be willing to let us photograph them. We might get turned down or forced to be in an awkward situation. But this struggle is something that is really fascinating because in a few short moments you can go from barely knowing someone, to creating an image with them that captures their true personality in photographic form. The photo captures automatically a little splinter of this persons existence, but a strong photo captures so much more.
Photographing strangers has always been a passion of mine from the first time I did it on the streets of Seattle until just yesterday while driving home in the Columbia River Gorge, and I am sure it will remain on my favorite thing to do list for a long, long time. I just turned 21, but I’ve been photographing strangers for years, it’s made me an animal. There’s some rules to this game, I wrote a manual. These four steps are what I use every time I want to photograph a stranger, and work well to both get the stranger to let you photograph them, and create a strong photograph in the process. [read]